The Bad Son

Tokyo: Taka Ishii Gallery, 1998.
Condition: Nr Fine. Some light handling
First edition.
Edition of 1,000 copies

The pictures’ casual approach and repetitiveness echo Clark, as does the fixation on a loaded young male pop icon. But where Clark’s objectives vis-à-vis River Phoenix, Matt Dillon, and Kartheiser involve endangering their natural eroticism with his patented mixture of identification and repressed lust, Korine’s intentions regarding Culkin seem rather a consensual, even shy attempt to locate the former child star’s current cultural value. If these fuzzy, low-key, poetic photographs cast Culkin as unwitting jailbait, they’re nonetheless respectful of the studied goofiness and mild dis-interest with which Culkin strikes Korine’s mock-candid poses. An accompanying “autobiographical” prose poem, ostensibly written by Culkin, reveals him to be a far weirder cat than the images allow. The result, as in Korine’s more complicated films, is less a voyeuristic exercise than a benign and resonant standoff between an artist who has an original feel for where meaning lies and a subject whose meaning leaves a lot to be desired. Dennis Cooper (Art Forum, 2000). Item #1492

Price: $1,000.00

The Bad Son. Harmony Korine.